Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Soul Clutter

One of the books I'm reading right now is Do You Think I'm Beautiful by Angela Thomas. I was reading this morning and the topic of Soul Clutter grabbed my attention. Angela defines soul clutter as "the collection of emotional, relational, and spiritual issues that we have been stepping over." Just before this definition, she spent some time explaining that we women tend to just make a pile of clutter on the bottom stair of our souls and instead of picking it up, sorting through it and putting it away, we just walk on by it.

That got me to thinking. Whoa! I think I do that a lot. It's just easier in the mad dash of my life as a Mom, wife, PW, and whatever other hat I might be wearing to walk right past those things that I need to deal with. Well, I'm sure you know what happens when we walk by for long enough without picking up the clutter! Our souls start looking like a place that just might qualify for an episode of Clean House. She gave a long list of the things that clutter our souls. Here are just SOME of them: gossipping, escapism, believing lies you've been told, rejection, rebellion, fears, envy, legalism, insecurity, codependency, depression, anger, bitterness, a critical spirit, body image, sabotaging your health, unforgiveness, unrepentance. The list goes on --but if I'm being honest, these were the ones I could see in my own life.

Ouch. There might be something to this for me. My soul just might be a hot mess that really needs untangling. I tend to stay so busy and take on so many things, feeling pressure to "do" for everyone. Feeling like I should be able to do it all. SO, when I start feeling like I have something that needs done for myself, then I feel guilty and walk right on past it. Thinking I should be able to handle it myself and just keep on --keeping on.

With my health issues of late, I'm realizing that there are many things in my life that need to change. Choosing gratitude and grabbing joy instead of being pessimistic is one of them. Another thing that I've felt God saying to me lately is that maybe I just need a break. As much as I LOVE leading bible studies, I'm feeling that right now is not the time. I am the mom of 4 kids and there are many, many days when they receive my worst and not my best and that isn't fair to them. I am a wife and in the same way there are many days when hubs receives my worst and not my best and that isn't fair to him. NOR is it right. First and foremost in this life, these are the tasks God has given me. To be a wife to my husband, to be a Mom to my kids and give them my very best and not my very worst. And walking by the soul clutter is giving them my worst. Instead of dealing with the soul clutter, I've just tried adding more and more to my list so as not to have to deal with it. God is calling me to take a break. To deal with my soul clutter and then give my ALL to my family. After I learn that maybe I can do more for him again. BUT this is the first step. Because just as Angela Thomas said, "Soul Clutter will keep you from intimacy with God".

SO, then the question becomes how to deal with the soul clutter. Well - here are the steps that Ms. Thomas gives to dealing with it.

1. Acknowledge the Mess (hey! I've got one down -- I'm a HOT mess and I know it! And I'm not denying it anymore -- nor am I walking past it from now on!)

2. Realize that you might need to call for help. We shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that having God as our only strength means standing alone. Maybe we need a friend, a pastor, or a good Christian counselor.

3. Pray and seek prayer covering! Ms. Thomas said that there will be NO power in our lives if there is NO prayer in our lives!

4. Expect this season of reconciling,reordering, and repairing to take longer than you think it will. wow. Looks like I will be learning some more patience too. And I'm hoping some quietness for my soul!

5. Journal. I used to be really good at journaling. But I notice that when my life gets hectic, I do less of it and that is when I need it most. I am working on doing more of this.

6. Allow God to lavish you with His Grace. Another thing I'm learning about myself is that I've never allowed God to lavish me with Grace. I've never really accepted that his mercies are new for me every morning. I'm working that. Learning what his amazing love is all about!!!
I will now be making a new set of Truth Cards that are all about God's amazing love, grace and mercy. Maybe if I'm beaten over the head long enough by his love -- I'll get it!!!!

Well - I've got a LOT of work to do. What about you? DO you have soul clutter that needs dealing with?

Thank you, Angela Thomas, for this great book, this great chapter and this WONDERFUL scripture for me to really ponder and chew on today!!!!

Psalm 103:8-14 (New International Version)

8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.

Which reminds me of THIS wonderful song! I will be humming it all day!

Hope yours is a great Tuesday. I will be making an important phone call this afternoon. If you think of it, will you please say a prayer that if this is God's will that HE will open the doors and make it all work out? I would appreciate that VERY much!

in HIM -


Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

Ooh, good, good stuff. I'm gonna have to pick up that book. My husband and kids most often "the leftovers" of me...not ok.

Thanks so much for sharing this today!

Mandy said...

Great post! I may be going to pick up that book myself...I definitely have a lot of soul clutter going on right now!

He & Me + 3 said...

That was an awesome post and that book sounds wonderful. i sure do have a lot of soul is amazing how much you can accumulate over the years when you don't deal with it right away.

Sherrie said...

Very Powerful! I really enjoyed reading this post. It has made me realize that I am full of Soul Clutter and I really do need to "declutter". There are so many emotional issues that have cluttered my soul over the past year that I am afraid to confront them. But I realize I must! So.. I will do my best and doing just that. THanks for this beautiful message.

Sherrie said...

I am currently writing my new recent post where I have mentioned this "soul clutter". I hope you don't mind if I link to your post and direct my friends to your blog? I really really liked what you had to say.

Elisabeth- Truly Blessed said...

Wow- just what I needed today. What a great reminder. I guess I should add this book to my list of reads this year. Thank you!
In Him,

A Joyful Chaos said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing.

Ginger said...

So proud of you!!! You are definitely doing the right thing! You are already a wonderful wife & mom but letting go of some outside responsibilities & really concentrating on YOU & your family is going to make you even better!! Love you!!